CEO Responses to Coronavirus - how do you relate?

In midst of the Coronavirus, there seem to be three different kind of CEOs: the fear-focused, the unfocused, and the strategy-focused. Which one are you?



A recent article published in highlights the word choices used by 29 different CEOs in reference to the Coronavirus outbreak. The results revealed a variance in their leadership approach – something that’s worth a closer review.

As author Robert Glazer outlined from a series of interviews conducted by Todd Herman (peak-performance coach, author and entrepreneur), each CEO can be grouped into one of three categories:

  1. The Fear-Focused CEOs– these CEOs are the most emotional, most concerned and most overwhelmed.
  2. The Unfocused CEOs– these CEOs are uncertain on what to do, playing wait and see, and most dismissive.
  3. The Strategy-Focused CEOs– these CEOS are the most focused on taking what they’ve been given and using it. They’re still focused on growth and opportunity.

After their interviews, Herman analyzed the data and word choices. The “Fear-Focused CEOs” seem to be making decisions of staff reductions based on media fear and uncertainty. They tend to be driven by emotion rather than logic. Why? Because they’re consuming five times more media than strategy-focused CEOs, framing their outlook with a negative perspective, and blaming the government.

The “Unfocused CEOs” appear to be poor leaders that should have never been put in their role in the first place. They are consuming three times more media than strategy-focused CEOs and talk negatively about planning --- perhaps because they failed to implement any plan from the beginning. What will happen to their businesses and their employees while they focus on getting away to escape it all?

Ideally, we could all take tips from the “Strategy-Focused CEOs” by remaining positive and optimistic. In other words, don’t panic! Find the opportunities and strengths and push to motivate your staff in uncertain times. We NEED more of these CEOs in the world!

While it’s easy to get down and follow the mainstream deluge of gloom and doom news, this is not time to get sucked into media or to focus on finding the source of blame. We as CEOs have to push forward with optimism! Share the good news, send positive vibes, and keep your employees motivated.

Are you up for the challenge?

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions..." Lao Tzu's words are ringing true for CEOs in the midst of a pandemic.

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